Will GOP Climate Deniers Agree to Presidential Debate on Science Issues?

One of the most high-stakes issues facing elected leaders currently is climate change. Powerful lobbying efforts to obfuscate the science that shows what’s driving it have turned the issue into a messy partisan squabble, with many conservatives denying it as a hoax.


A group called ScienceDebate wants to reverse this by making presidential candidates participate in a debate dedicated to science issues during the general election, ThinkProgress reports.

It seems like quite an idea, considering the current political climate empowered Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe to display total ignorance by throwing a snow ball in Congress – proof, he thought, that the planet is not warming.

Things have so far downhill that in some Republican-led states, public schools are teaching creationism in science classes.

“We hear the perpetual headline that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, but now the script has flipped,” he said, according to CBS News.

ScienceDebate launched their efforts in 2008, but weren’t successful. But this time, they got an earlier start, executive director Sheril Kirshenbaum told ThinkProgress.

The group is asking the public to submit suggestions for questions and gathering signatures for a petition calling for a science debate.

ScienceDebate doesn’t have biases about candidates’ views on climate change or other scientific issues, ThinkProgress reports. But Kirshenbaum said, “we just feel like their policies and views need to be out for all of us to decide on.”

Regardless of whether ScienceDebate succeeds in its mission this election season, Kirshenbaum pointed out that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has already drawn a line in the sand when it comes to climate change. In April, her campaign director John Podesta tweeted this:

“The fact that she’s making this such a big issue means that no matter what happens next, every candidate will have to talk about it,” Kirshenbaum told ThinkProgress.

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